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Baylor

vs.

Oklahoma State

College Football

Free Pick

10/14/17

It’s almost halfway through the season and Baylor is still looking for its first win. Playing in the Big 12, it may end up being a road trip to Kansas for the Bears to get that first win and if not, this could be one of their worst seasons ever. There will always be the chance for an upset in a defense-deficient conference, but keeping up with a team like Oklahoma State isn’t easy. The Cowboys were early -25.5 point home favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

It was only a year ago that Baylor won this game 35-24, but that was a long time ago when the Bears had an opposite 4-0 record. The defense was also competent in stopping OK State to just 24 points, which included zero touchdowns for quarterback Mason Rudolph. There’s a clear difference between these Baylor teams, though, as this defense has allowed at least 33 points in four of five games this year and the only time it didn't was against UTSA. Against a similarly high-powered group of Oklahoma, the Bears gave up 49 points.

Having dropped at least 41 points in every game this season, the Pokes look headed for that total again. Rudolph should have a much easier time completing passes as he’s at a career best 67.6 completion rate to go with 16 touchdowns. He’s thrown a pick in the last three games, but that doesn’t look to be a major problem. Some of those picks can be attributed to his ridiculously high 11.04 yards per attempt, which is No. 3 in the country. This offense can win through ground and air and that’s what will happen here with Justice Hill averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

Baylor’s defense hasn’t done much right, but it’s the rush defense that’s been most troublesome, giving up more than 230 yards per game. The Pokes will likely lean on that early, which will in turn set up deep passes to top wide out James Washington as he’s averaging 23.1 yards per catch.

Given all that, this line is still a bit high for a team that hasn’t played much defense. OK State is coming off back-to-back non-covers in which they lost at home to TCU and then let Texas Tech stay close in a 41-34 win. There’s always the chance this turns out like the Pittsburgh game when the Cowboys got out to an early lead, but it’s not like Baylor hasn’t stayed competitive in recent losses to Oklahoma and K State.

Since benching Arizona transfer Anu Solomon after the first couple games, the offense has looked a bit better with Zach Smith running the show. He threw for 463 yards and four touchdowns against the Sooners. While he’s still not a game breaker, he can at least put points on the board and that should be more than possible against the OK State defense. Baylor would do best to get its ground game going through John Lovett, but as a team the Bears are averaging 3.8 yards per carry and it just isn’t working.

The Bears are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six following an ATS loss, but 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games. The favorite is 14-4 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these schools.

Our PIck - OVER 68.5

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